What Exactly Is Blogging?
While you might have heard of “blogging,” you might be left wondering what it actually is.
A blog is essentially an online journal and is originally created from the words web and log.
A blog is basically logging one’s thoughts, ideas, experiences, and more all in one place on the web.
It can be either for personal use or serve as an informational channel for businesses and brands to connect with their audience.
What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?
A blog refers to a specific style and type of content that you would find on a website.
For instance, you will generally find a company’s blog on their website.
Why Is It So Popular?
Blogging is something that has rapidly grown in popularity over the years.
Blogs essentially provide a social outlet for people and brands.
A blog is typically an informal channel that you can use to express ideas, be creative, and delve out information. Therefore, it is something that people generally connect with much better than static pages on a website.
This is what makes “blogging for business” so powerful.
It really helps to serve to bridge the gap between brands and allow the brands to necessarily have their own ‘voice.’ People generally relate better to brands that are capable of relating to themselves. The best way to do this is through social media channels and a personal and informal channel like blogging.
Why It’s Important to Perform Keyword Research?
Before writing your content or taking your business online, you must put your efforts into understanding the market and audience needs.
While the volume of searches for a particular topic by itself doesn’t really indicate market demand, but it does point toward an existing interest around that topic.
However, specific terms, along with topical keywords, do tend to reveal commercial interests such as buy, purchase, coupon, or sale among many others.
Comprehensive keyword research should include searches without these terms just to judge general interest but also research with these terms in place so we can judge commercial intent toward these topics
Choosing a Topic & Keyword Research
Let’s take a minute to talk about keyword research and why it might be useful for you. First, of all, are keywords dead?
Many people think that the idea of a keyword was born with the search engine, but in reality, it’s existed since the dawn of mass communication. They are nothing more than the terms your audience frequently uses to find and engage with businesses like yours. They’ve been used in traditional advertising, the Yellow Pages and of course online. The four main areas keywords can help boost your online efforts are:
- Developing search engine relevant content to generate free targeted traffic.
- Building better copy for your site and apps to improve conversion and sales.
- Targeting for your online ads to generate revenue from high-CTR ads.
- Employing these words right within the ads themselves.
Tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz, etc. have literally made keyword research a child’s play.
True, these tools can help you find 100’s and even 1000’s of related keywords with a press of a button.
True, you can now track your competitors’ pages and their top-ranking keywords with just a few clicks.
Not so true if you think having a list of 100’s of low competition keyphrase will give you an instant boost on Google SERPs and will help you generate massive targeted traffic.
You must understand that keyword research is an essential “component” of SEO; it’s not an SEO in itself.
Your domain’s topical relevance, quality of backlinks, contents, domain’s authoritativeness, etc. are some other crucial components where you need to focus on.
The essence of any keyword research campaign is to find key-phrases with specific “intent.” Moreover, these phrases must have a tropical relevance to your brand’s targeted niche.
What’s the use of having writing 1000’s blog posts when you can’t generate a single lead or sale?
Why not focus on a key phrase that might have low search volume but have a higher chance of conversion?
How to Perform Keyword Research?
- Seed keywords
They are the foundation of any keyword research campaign.
They essentially define the niche on which your site is based and help you define and target your closest competitors.
If you already have established a brand or a website, then your seed keyword is any phrase or word that defines your niche.
For example, if you own a photography website, your seed keyword will be photography.
Sounds simple, right?
The problem with any seed keyword is the fact that they define a specific niche. You as a brand or a website cannot target a whole category.
You need to be very specific with your objectives, and right here, everything starts becoming complicated.
Remember that as a business, your primary goal is to generate revenue and not just building up millions of website visitors without having any conversion or sales.
So, you need to pick up phrases that will generate your targeted traffic with an intent to purchase a service or product.
How to do so?
Well, keep on reading!
1.1. Niche down approach
Using modifiers, along with your targeted keyword, is the best way to find niche related key phrases. You basically start with the single word search term with massive search volume and keep on digging until you find low competition, niche-targeted keywords with purchase intent.
For example, let’s say your seed keyword is “photographers,” then your modifiers can be best + “seed keyword” + location.
- Spy on your competitors
The easiest way to generate a massive list of “niche related” keywords is to spy on your top-ranking competitors’ websites. If you have access to tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, all you need to do is enter your competitors’ site, the URL, and press enter.
Within a few seconds, both of these tools will give you a list of keywords for which your competitors rank on Google search result pages.
Now, you can filter out the phrases which suit your niche and create content that far exceeds the quality of your competitor’s content, so you have a better chance to rank on Google.
Writing A Blog Like A Pro!
The worst thing you can do when your blog is when you begin to publish a post. Try to find out what you’re going to write.
You want to have an idea of what you are going to talk about and what you are going to write about before you even get to the point where you are going to start writing.
The last thing you want is that blank cursor looking into your eyes and making you question your skills.
Can you write?
That’s exactly how I feel when I see a blank page.
First of all, you want to make sure that you understand what you are planning in your content calendar.
I hope you have a list of topics that you will address and answer. These are usually things you would like to talk about on your blog, and maybe you have surveyed your audience, or maybe you know what the trending topics are.
These are things you should talk about, but the number one advice I have for you is to invest your time in understanding what transformation your blog post can bring in your audience’s life after they read it.
So, they are in an area of their lives where they think they are reading your blog in one way or another and coming out of it transformed. Now, it’s just a fanciful way of saying what these blog posts you’re writing are for.
But I love thinking about transformation because it diverts attention away from you and puts it directly into your target audience. And when you think about the transformation that will help you with the following advice, it will help you to describe or present all your blog posts even better.
Create a Content Outline
Once you have decided the main objective of your blog post, you can then work back from it and create your content outlines.
Now, no matter how you end up creating your plan, I feel mind maps are a perfect way to decide and visually organize all your ideas. I really like using the post-it notes, but no matter how you choose to do it, just make sure you take these ideas in your head about the main objective of your blog post and put them all on a paper.
Once you have enough information in your mind map, you can then organize them in a proper sequence to create a basic outline that will necessarily be the framework for your blog post. Always remember to decide the objective of your post before you start investing your time and energy in research and content creation.
The outline is your roadmap to creating informative and useful content. So, invest your time doing proper research and gather as much related information as possible. The more ideas you have in your mind map, the better will the result.
Now, it doesn’t matter what type of content you are planning to create, a blog post, a review, a listicle, a podcast episode or maybe even talking on stage, the most important thing you need to understand is that you have to start strong.
The audience will read your content or will listen to your podcast because they are either interested in you or the subject. And unless you hang them up from the very beginning, they won’t want to continue. The sole purpose of an intro section is to keep people reading.
You must craft your first sentence in a way that encourages your audience to read the next sentence and so on.
What Are Page Titles and How Are They Important?
Page titles are also sometimes called title tags and are used as a way to briefly describe the content of a web page. They are seen at the top of a browser and they are included on the search engine result pages. These are considered among the most important elements for SEO related to own page factors. The title should typically include the main keyword that the page is wanting to rank for.
There is no set limit on the number of characters that can be included in a title tag, but it is generally accepted that using one with less than 60 to 70 characters is optimal. Using more than that amount could mean that part of the title is cut off when seen in the SERPS. For maximum effect, it is believed by most experts that keeping within that character limit will produce the most positive impact.
Social websites are also another important factor and they also use the page title as part of what they display when you share a page on those sites. Some sites will let you have a bit more freedom on what will be displayed but having an optimized title will ensure that you get the best impact across all social networks. It is also helpful when the title has been optimized well because there isn’t a lot of extra effort needed to figure out a better title even when there’s an option of doing that with social networks.
How Can You Write A Good Title Tag?
Because they are used on both the search engine result pages and on social networks and they are a great way of attracting people’s attention, it is worth spending a little extra time to come up with a very good title. One of the most important things you want to do is to refrain from making it too long. People scan these days and they’re not going to take the time to read a lengthy title and, in many situations, a long title will be cut.
Another factor for creating good title tags is not using All Caps. The reason is the spacing can mean that even fewer characters will show up and this could lead to the title being cut off and the viewers are unable to read the entire thing. It’s also important that while you want to try and use the keyword in the title when possible, you don’t want to stuff keywords in it. Google has become very sophisticated in its ability to recognize keyword stuffing and greatly frowns on it.
Whenever possible put the keyword or phrase as close to the beginning of the title as you can and still have it sound natural. It’s always important to remember that you want to prepare a page for the viewer and not just for the search engines but when it’s possible to do both then you should. This means if it can still flow well and sound great and the keyword can be near the beginning of the title then that is the best way to do it.
If you have a large website and you have lots of pages and some of them are on similar topics it will be important to give each page a unique title. It will hurt your SEO if more than one page has the same title. For this reason, unique titles have to be used and each page should go for a unique keyword or phrase even if it’s similar to another page.
What Are Meta Descriptions and How Are They Important?
The meta description is found inside the HTML. It is used to help give a description and summarization of what the content on the page is about. It describes how the page will answer a question or in what way it will benefit the user. Some experts feel that the meta description and its value for SEO has been devalued but it is still used as a factor and therefore should be included. It absolutely does not hurt the rankings in any way and it is still used by Google and other search engines as a ranking factor and that means that even though it may not have as much value as it once did it is still well worth using.
In most cases, a meta description should stay within 275 characters or less. In the past, it was usually recommended that you use no more than 160 characters and you may find that information still floating around out there. But in 2017 Google updated what it will show to the higher amount. For that reason, many experts recommend that you use as close to the maximum characters as possible without going over that amount.
Webmasters wanting to write better meta descriptions should do a thorough search of targeted keywords that can be used in the description. They need to be not only extremely relevant to the general content but have the use of keywords that expand on the topic while also specifically related to it. The description should give the reader a sense of urgency and it should show what benefits the user can expect to get from the content.
These types of factors are the very things that a lot of people are overlooking. Some don’t even include a meta description because they think that it’s been devalued, and others just throw something up there without really putting any great attention to it. When two pages are competing for a top spot in the SERPS and all else is equal, then a great meta description can be the difference between ranking on top or not.
What Is SEO Friendly Permalinks and How Are They Important?
Since WordPress is one of the most commonly used platforms for building websites, then it’s also important that the webmaster understand what SEO-friendly permalinks are and how they are important to on-page SEO. In the past, the basic structure of WordPress was not especially friendly for SEO factors. Many people liked WordPress because the nature of blogging was something that Google liked and so pages often ranked but the structure itself didn’t lend itself well to creating an SEO friendly permalink.
Fortunately, that is no longer the case. To understand what a friendly permalink is, it is necessary to understand what a friendly URL is. If a URL uses a lot of symbols and numbers and other factors that don’t show what the content is about, then it is not considered friendly. If, on the other hand, it is a website URL that is something like http://www.agreatsite.com/how-to-do-something-useful/, then that is a very readable and therefore friendly URL.
Links are referred to as permalinks within WordPress. If you go into your settings, then you can choose among several different types of permalinks. The one called ‘post name’ is the one that’s most highly recommended. The reason is that it will give a link that is similar to the one demonstrated above. The others will give dates and symbols and other things that are considered to be less friendly.
Understanding the Importance of H1 – H6 Titles
Google, in particular, uses these titles as a way to further understand the content on the page and its particular importance within the page. This is how you will use these types of title headings correctly. H1 would be something that represents the highest level of importance on the page. H6 would represent something that had a level of importance but much lower than the H1. The most common headings found on SEO optimized pages are H1 and H2 tags. But all of them can be used effectively to help Google understand what the page is about and what points on the page are most important or least important.
Most SEO experts suggest having “only” one H1 tag in one webpage. As already discussed, H1 tags has a significant weightage in terms of on page SEO and so must be used for elements that signify the main idea behind your content or your business. It suggested that you use H1 tags for title tags that is post titles when it’s a single article page and site title when it’s your home page, archive, or search result page.
Once’s you’ve written your new content take a read of my guide to 7 Quick Tips To Ranking Your New Content Today!
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